February is Black History Month; help the library celebrate by participating in our African-American Read-In Chain! Read books by African-American authors and illustrators all month long at your favorite branch and at home.
Squeak, Rumble, Whomp! Whomp! Whomp!, by Marsalis Wynton
The creators of Jazz ABZ are back for an encore! With infectious rhythm and rhyme, musical master Wynton Marsalis opens kids’ ears to the sounds around us. What’s that sound? The back door squeeeaks open, sounding like a noisy mouse nearby — eeek, eeeek, eeeek! Big trucks on the highway rrrrrrrumble, just as hunger makes a tummy grrrrumble. Ringing with exuberance and auditory delights, this second collaboration by world-renowned jazz musician and composer Wynton Marsalis and acclaimed illustrator Paul Rogers takes readers (and listeners) on a rollicking, clanging, clapping tour through the many sounds that fill a neighborhood.
He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands, by Kadir Nelson
What began as a spiritual has developed into one of America’s best-known songs, and now for the first time it appears as a picture book, masterfully created by award-winning artist Kadir Nelson. Through sublime landscapes and warm images of a boy and his family, Kadir has created a dazzling, intimate interpretation, one that rejoices in the connectedness of people and nature. Inspired by the song’s simple message, Kadir sought to capture the joy of living in and engaging with the world. Most importantly, he wished to portray the world as a child might see it–vast and beautiful.
Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters, by Barak Obama
In this tender, beautiful letter to his daughters, President Barack Obama has written a moving tribute to thirteen groundbreaking Americans and the ideals that have shaped our nation. From the artistry of Georgia O’Keeffe, to the courage of Jackie Robinson, to the patriotism of George Washington, President Obama sees the traits of these heroes within his own children, and within all of America’s children.
Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up By Sitting Down, by Andrea Davis Pinkney
It was February 1, 1960. They didn’t need menus. Their order was simple. A doughnut and coffee, with cream on the side. This picture book is a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the momentous Woolworth’s lunch counter sit-in, when four college students staged a peaceful protest that became a defining moment in the struggle for racial equality and the growing civil rights movement. Andrea Davis Pinkney uses poetic, powerful prose to tell the story of these four young men, who followed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s words of peaceful protest and dared to sit at the “whites only” Woolworth’s lunch counter. Brian Pinkney embraces a new artistic style, creating expressive paintings filled with emotion that mirror the hope, strength, and determination that fueled the dreams of not only these four young men, but also countless others.
Ellington Was Not a Street, by Ntozake Shange
In this reflective poetic tribute, the author remembers growing up when many of the great figures in African-American history gathered in her family home to talk and share ideas and even sing. These men of vision, brought to life in the majestic paintings of artist Kadir Nelson, lived at a time when the color of their skin dictated where they could live, what schools they could attend, and even where they could sit on a bus or in a movie theater. Their lives and their works inspire us to this day, and serve as a guide to how we approach the challenges of tomorrow.
Ready for an activity inspired by Wynton Marsalis’ Squeak, Rumble, Whomp! Whomp! Whomp!? Go on a sound hunt! Click here for an easy-to-print Sound Hunt PDF.